How to Clean a Toro Lawn Mower Carburetor: Step-By-Step


The carburetor on your Toro mower may need to be cleaned when it no longer provides sufficient fuel causing your mower to run sluggish or not start at all. Old fuel that sits in your carburetor can gum its components preventing sufficient fuel to the engine. When you are looking for a reason your Toro isn’t getting fuel, the carburetor is one of the items that should be checked out.

Symptoms of a Bad Toro Lawn Mower Carburetor

When your carburetor is dirty and no longer able to correctly regulate the fuel to air mixture required by your Toro mower’s engine. You could experience these symptoms:

  • Toro mower won’t start
  • Toro mower backfires from running lean
  • Toro mower engine sputters and runs rough
  • Toro mower engine surges
  • Toro mower consumes too much fuel

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12 Steps to Clean a Toro Lawn Mower Carburetor

Once you have verified you are getting fuel to the carburetor, perform one more test to give you a better indication the carburetor is your problem. Need help checking to make sure you are getting fuel to the carburetor? Check out “6 Reasons Your Toro Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Gas“.

Before taking your carburetor apart for cleaning, remove the air filter from the air filter housing. Spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your mower. If it starts, runs and then shuts down, you should disassemble your carburetor and clean it.

Gather Items Needed to Clean Your Toro Carburetor

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Carburetor Cleaner
  • Thick wire
  • Needle nose pliers

Take Photos of Your Toro Mower Carburetor

It’s a good idea to take photos while taking your carburetor apart. You don’t want to start removing parts and then forget where they go. Because most people have a cell phone with a camera readily available, it is convenient to take photos before and during the tear down process.

I recommend taking these photos even if you have a great memory. You’re better off having these photos available and not needing them over not having the photos at all.

Shut off Your Toro Mower Fuel Supply

Stop the fuel flow on your Toro lawn mower. Use the fuel shut-off valve located on the bottom of your fuel tank. If you don’t have a valve on your mower, crimp the fuel line.

Remove Your Toro Mower Throttle & Choke Cable

Detach the throttle and choke cables from your carburetor.

Remove your Toro Mower Air Filter Housing

Remove the hardware that attaches the carburetor to the air filter housing so it is detached.

Remove the Springs from Your Toro Mower Carburetor

Slowly remove the springs from the carburetor. Do not stretch the springs or you’ll have to replace them. You may have to twist the carburetor a bit to get the springs to come off the carb. Be careful not to rip the gasket between the engine block and the carburetor or you will have to replace it with a new gasket.

Remove the Bowl from Your Toro Mower Carburetor

Now locate the bowl on the bottom of your carburetor. This is the place a small amount of fuel is collected once it leaves the fuel tank. Have a rag available to soak up any remaining fuel in the bowl.

Remove the screw located at the bottom of the bowl and lower the bowl to remove it from the carburetor. You will find a gasket located between the bowl and the carburetor. It looks like a rubber band. Do not get any carburetor cleaner or other substance on the gasket as it will ruin it. If you do, the gasket must be replaced before the bowl is reattached.

Check Your Toro Carburetor of Clogged Holes in the Stem

You will find a stem that hangs down in the center of your Toro carburetor. The holes in the stem can become clogged with the gumming of old fuel. With a flashlight to better see the holes, use a thick wire to unclog them.

Remove White Crusty Buildup and Gumming in Your Toro Mower Carburetor

Check the other components in your carburetor along with the carburetor itself for additional gumming and a white crusty buildup. Remove the gummy deposits along with as much of the crusty material as possible using a carburetor cleaner and a clean cloth. Note: It is almost impossible to remove all the crusty material.

Reassembly Your Toro Mower Carburetor

Once you have finished cleaning the carburetor in your Toro lawn mower and ensured all the components are in good working order including your float needle and float, go ahead and reassemble the carburetor. Reverse the steps you went through when you removed your carburetor. Use the photos you took earlier for reference.

Replace or Rebuild Your Toro Carburetor When Cleaning is Unsuccessful

Sometimes cleaning your carburetor doesn’t make it carburetor function correctly. You may have small components in your carburetor that must be replaced or old fuel has caused so much damage you need to replace the carburetor.

Rebuild or replace your carburetor. You will need to have your engine model and spec available to ensure you order the correct part(s). Toro uses other manufacturers’ small engines in their mowers. You can order a replacement carburetor or rebuild kit online, at your local Toro dealership or at an authorized engine dealership.

Fill Your Toro Fuel Tank with Fresh Gas and a Fuel Additive

Only use good fresh gasoline in your gas-powered Toro lawn mower. Add a fuel additive like Sea Foam Motor treatment to stabilize your fuel, reduce moisture and clean the fuel system. Read more about using Sea Foam Motor Treatment as a fuel stabilizer and why it is what I use in my lawn mower.

Cleaning Your Toro Carburetor Didn’t Solve Your Problem

If cleaning your carburetor didn’t solve your problem and you still have problems in your fuel system. Check out my article 6 Reasons Your Toro Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Gas.

If you aren’t sure it is a fuel system problem, I have put together a list of common Toro problems and solutions where I address starting, fuel system, smoking, overheating, cutting problems and more. You can find it at Common Toro Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.

Powered Equipment Team

We're just a guy and a girl obsessed with outdoor power equipment! We are excited to share the knowledge and tips we have learned over our combined 55 years in the power equipment industry. We have both ran equipment dealerships and took pleasure in helping our customers everyday providing equipment repair, parts, purchasing, and business tips to our residential and commercial clients. We hope our blog will help you with your next purchase, repair, or project.

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